The famed Pineapple Express touted by skiers in the Western U.S. may not be all it’s cracked up to be. Instead of bringing fresh powder, the the atmospheric river storms, as they’re technically known, more often bring snow-destroying rain to many areas.
A new study by NASA and several other research institutions took a close look at data from satellites and ground observations from 1998 through 2014 to show the connection between atmospheric river storms and rain-on-snow events. According to the study, the atmospheric rivers are two-and-a-half times more likely than other types of winter storms to result in destructive “rain-on-snow” events, which increase flood risks in winter and reduce water availability the following summer. Continue reading “NASA looks at ‘snow-killing’ atmospheric river storms”→
Coastal observatories in California will measure low-level winds and moisture to generate better forecasts
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — To get a better handle on the impacts of incoming “atmospheric rivers,” scientists are installing specialized new coastal observatories at Bodega Bay, Eureka, Pt. Sur and Goleta, California.
The coastal weather stations will measure low altitude winds and the amount of moisture moving ashore — key data that will help forecasters pinpoint how much precipitation is likely to fall during an atmospheric river event.
“California needs to know how and where it might rain or snow, when and where to expect flooding,” said Michael Anderson, Ph.D., state climatologist with the California Department of Water Resources. “The observatories will also help state officials and scientists monitor changes in atmospheric rivers associated with climate change.” Continue reading “New weather sites will take close look at atmospheric rivers”→